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SIGN-LANGUAGE INCORPORATION TO NANOTECHNOLOGY VIRTUAL LABORATORIES

A. Lapresta-Fernández1, A. Salinas-Castillo1, E. Castillo2, D.P. Morales2, J.A. Álvarez-Bermejo3, M.A. Archilla Fernández4

1University of Granada, Department of Analytical Chemistry (SPAIN)
2University of Granada, Department of Electronic and Computer Tecnology (SPAIN)
3University of Almeria, Department of Information Technology (SPAIN)
4Alhambra High School adapted to Sign Language (SPAIN)
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by the European Union on 23 December 2010, recognises the freedom of expression, opinion and access to information of persons with disabilities, including by accepting, facilitating and promoting the use of sign languages (Article 21).[1] Moreover, in the field of education, the EU should take appropriate measures to facilitate the promotion of the linguistic identity of the deaf community, by incorporating i.e. disability awareness and the use of appropriate augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, educational techniques and materials to support persons with disabilities. (Article 24).[2]

With this aim, the innovative goal that arises in this project is the adaptation to the language of signs of different audiovisual materials that are part of the contents of a previous project based on a Virtual Laboratory for the Student pedagogic orientation into Nanotechnology.[3] Therefore, the aim is to abolish communication barriers, not only for deaf people, but also for all hearing impaired and hypo-hearing impaired people. Within the EU, only three countries and official consideration within its constitution to sign languages, Finland (1995) Portugal (1997) and Austria (2005). In Spain the Sign Language is not officially recognized at the national level, but it is within the scope of some Autonomous Communities, being supported by the European Parliament.

The audiovisual materials placed on the Virtual platform, as a virtual laboratory for the nanotechnology understanding, were adapted to be accessible to deaf persons. The platform gives a generic nanotechnology point of view for the new nanomaterials that reach the society. The contents and the information related to the nanosciences, available on the platform, are not only offered in three of the most spoken languages in the European Union (Spanish, German and English), but also in the sign language, which evolves to the students, and persons interested in nanotechnology, to go beyond the languages frontiers, awakening in him the necessary nano-scientific curiosity. Therefore, As full development of human potential and the strengthening of excellence in higher education together with the European convergence, the incorporation of the sign language in the Nanotechnology Virtual Laboratory aim to the deaf people to be not excluded from use of New Applications.

References:
[1] United Nations, Article 21 - Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information 2010) Retrieved from https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities/article-21-freedom-of-expression-and-opinion-and-access-to-information.html.
[2] United Nations, Article 24 - Education 2010) Retrieved from https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities/article-21-freedom-of-expression-and-opinion-and-access-to-information.html.
[3] A. Lapresta-Fernández, A.Salinas Castillo, M.Camprubí Robles, and S.Anderson de la Llana. in: Virtual Laboratory For The Student Pedagogic Orientation Into Nanotechnology. Proceeding, ICERI2012. 5th international conference of education, research and innovation , 3444-3448. 2012.